Orange City, Iowa — A group calling themselves the “New Broom Society Of Siouxland” is objecting to Sioux County’s 2014-15 budget. The group has made several other allegations of the Sioux County Board of Supervisors.Sioux County Courthouse_sva

The group has made an appeal to the State Board of Appeals in regard to the Sioux County 2014/2015 budget. A hearing was held on Thursday, April 17th, before representatives from the state Treasury, Auditor, and Management Offices.

According to the group’s Facebook page, they have submitted a petition with 122 signatures that calls for the appeal.

We talked with Sioux County Auditor Lois Huitink about the issue. She says there were only 113 valid signatures on the petitions. She says the Iowa Code states in part: “At all hearings, the burden shall be upon the objectors with reference to any proposed item in the budget which was included in the budget of the previous year and which the objectors propose should be reduced or excluded…” The Code continues: “…the burden shall be upon the certifying board or the levying board, as the case may be, to show that any new item in the budget, or any increase in any item in the budget, is necessary, reasonable, and in the interest of the public welfare”.

Huitink says that there were a lot of comments from the petitioners — that is the New Broom Society — that did not pertain to 2015 budget. She says she expects the appeal board to only look at comments that did apply.

The group makes the following allegations of the Sioux County Board:

  1. Excessive salaries for elected officials ($526,504 vs $581,510 for Woodbury Co);
  2. Excessive patrolling and expenditures by sheriff and other departments. SWAT team can be eliminated, sentenced to serve, sharing with conservation can reduce expenditures;
  3. Mismanagement of legal affairs and prosecutions (overcharging of some, failure to prosecute the elites, illegal lagoon, zoning and now landfill violations, endless appeals)
  4. Excessive expenditures (above tax revenues by $7 million last 3 budgets);
  5. Failure to collect monies owed to the county;
  6. Confusing and inaccurate numbers in financial reports and published budgets. Current budget started with $9.2 million — day before the balance was Negative. Inaccurate figures are believed to have been published for this budget;
  7. Taxes raised by $700,000; expenditures up by over $4 million, and
  8. Bullying by sheriff to prevent fair comments and questions at budget hearings — thus preventing and denying a hearing as required by law. No hearing held.

Huitink says the hearing was only a fact-finding hearing, and that no decisions were made during the hearing. The State Appeals Board will meet on April 28th and make their determination at that time.

Auditor Huitink has provided us with copies of several supporting documents from the hearing, and they are available below:
Per Capita Data 14
Additions-Increases to Expenditures
Response to Petition OPENING STATEMENT
Budget Appeal Summary Information

Orange City, Iowa — A Public Service Announcement from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office:texting cell phone_sxc

With ever-increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks is something we all face daily. As a result, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on our roadways that demands immediate attention: distracted driving. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage. According to a Carnegie Mellon study, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. And a report from the National Safety Council found that people talking on cell phones or sending text messages cause more than one out of every four traffic collisions. Texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off the task of driving. The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under 20 age group. Of those drivers involved in fatal crashes who were reportedly distracted, the 30 to 39 year-olds had the highest proportion of cell phone involvement. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind you: The next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,328 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once. A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s.

April 15, 2014 - 1:06 pm - Posted in News

sioux county sheriff emblemA Sioux Falls woman’s Pontiac was damaged in an accident on Sunday, April 13th near Hospers.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:42 pm, 60 Year-old Cheryl Mydland was driving northbound on Highway 60, one mile north of Hospers, in a 2004 Pontiac Bonneville when she lost control of the vehicle, entered the east ditch and struck a cement culvert.

Mydland’s Pontiac received $2,500 damage.

There were no injuries reported.

April 15, 2014 - 1:05 pm - Posted in News

sioux county sheriff emblemRock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley woman’s Ford was damaged in an accident on Friday, April 11th near Rock Valley.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9:20 pm 39 year-old Maria Hernandez was driving westbound on Highway 18, three miles west of Rock Valley, in a 2004 Ford SUV when she struck a deer on the roadway.

Hernandez’s Ford received $4,000 damage.

There were no injuries reported.

April 15, 2014 - 8:00 am - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — A Hull man was arrested after an overnight disturbance in Hull early Sunday morning, April 13. Sioux Sheriff Car 84-

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 4:20 AM, their assistance was requested at a home in the 800 block of Chestnut Drive in Hull.

Upon further investigation officers found that the suspect, who was accused of assaulting some people at the Chestnut Drive home, had left the scene. Officers later located him at another home in Hull.

Thirty-one-year-old Jose Camacho-Cuevas of Hull was arrested and charged with serious misdemeanor assault, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and violation of a court-ordered protection order.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Rock Valley Police Department

Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate dean of academic affairs and professor in the department of periodontology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, has been appointed as the new dean of the College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Janet GuthmillerThe appointment is effective Sept. 1, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

Dr. Guthmiller will succeed John Reinhardt, D.D.S., who is stepping down after 14 years as UNMC’s dentistry dean. She is the college’s first female dean.

“Dr. Guthmiller brings a wealth of experience as a dental educator and researcher,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. “She possesses the leadership qualities we need to build on the reputation and accomplishments of the College of Dentistry.”

Prior to her current position, Dr. Guthmiller served on the faculty of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (now the University of Maryland School of Dentistry) and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She has been the associate dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2007.

Dr. Guthmiller said she is very excited to lead the College of Dentistry.

“I am honored to be a part of this great institution,” she said. “I hope to sustain the excellence and build on the strengths of the College of Dentistry.”

Dr. Guthmiller said she plans to partner with dental students, faculty, staff, and alumni and friends of the College of Dentistry, as well as UNMC’s other colleges, on initiatives that will benefit all Nebraskans.

“As a statewide campus, UNMC has a mission not only in education, research and clinical care, but also in service,” she said. “I look forward to seeing how the college can work and collaborate to help identify and address oral health needs throughout Nebraska and beyond.”

Dr. Guthmiller is an accomplished researcher, author and teacher with special interests in genetic studies of periodontal bacteria and the expression and activity of innate antimicrobial peptides. During her time in academia, she also spent 14 years as a practicing periodontist. As an educator, she has a deep interest in mentorship programs for students and faculty. She is the recipient of multiple collegiate and national recognitions.

“Dr. Guthmiller separated herself from a talented field of candidates through the scope of her research and educational work, as well as her ability to quickly connect with all groups,” said Joan Sivers, D.D.S., assistant dean of clinics at the College of Dentistry and chairwoman of the search committee.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1984 from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and graduated in 1988 with her doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She then entered the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Dentist-Scientist Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. As a part of this program, she earned her periodontal certificate in 1992 and a doctorate in cellular and structural biology in 1993.

Both Dr. Guthmiller and her husband, Scott, are native Midwesterners who grew up in Orange City, Iowa. Their youngest daughter, Emily, is in sixth grade; the elder, Katie, is in her freshman year at the University of Iowa.

Orange City, Iowa– After saying that the defense would have no objection to a change of venue in the murder trial of Rochelle Sapp of Orange City, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Coleman McAllister has now filed a request in resistance of the move.Sioux County Courthouse_sva

McAllister, who is the former Sioux County Attorney says that as he said at the pretrial conference on Monday, April 7, 2014, the State does not object to the Court changing the venue. However, McAllister says they would,  ”respectfully request that the Court, in selecting the county to which this case will be transferred, consider not only a location that will provide a fair trial to the Defendant, but also a location that is convenient for the State’s witnesses as well as for the victim’s family and supporters who desire to attend the trial.”

He goes on to say that convenience of the witnesses is a factor that the Iowa Supreme Court has clearly identified as an important factor for the Court to consider in selecting a county to which venue should be transferred.

At last check, no official response has yet been filed.

Thirty-four-year-old Rochelle Sapp is accused of causing the injuries that led to the death of 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma while she was in Sapp’s care last fall.

Ireton, Iowa — Two people from Sioux Center were taken to the Hawarden hospital after an accident near Ireton on Tuesday,April 9.Ambulance Lightbar

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9:15 PM, 11-year-old Jacob Dragstra of Sioux Center was driving a 1978 International farm tractor pulling a manure spreader eastbound on 420th Street, about six miles northwest of Ireton. Fifty-six-year-old Jerald Huls of Sioux Center was driving a 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette eastbound on 420th Street following Dragstra. Huls struck the rear of the manure spreader.

The Hawarden Ambulance transported Huls and his passenger, 54-year-old Claudia Shephard of Sioux Center to the Hawarden Hospital.

The Oldsmobile sustained approximately $7,000 in damages. The manure spreader was not damaged.

The Iowa State Patrol, Hawarden Fire Department and Hawarden Ambulance crew assisted the sheriff’s office.

The accident remains under investigation.

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City woman is one of the victims featured in a new report from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD.madd

In connection with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and the 30th anniversary of the national Victims of Crime Act, MADD is releasing its first-ever victim services report, funded by the generous support of the GM Foundation, to raise awareness around the issues facing victims of drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking.

The new report, called A Voice for Victims: MADD Victim Services Report, provides an inside look at the current state of crime victims’ rights across the country, highlights some of the challenges both bereaved and injured victims are facing, shows how MADD is serving those victims, and urges concerned citizens to take action.

One of the victim stories featured in the report is that of Julie Vander Wel, a mother from Orange City, whose 10-year-old son, Gavin, was killed in a drunk driving crash in July 2009. MADD says Gavin was in the car with his father, who had been drinking and then drove down the wrong side of the road, crashing into another vehicle, killing his son and seriously injuring a man in the other vehicle. Shortly after the crash, Julie turned to MADD for emotional support.

MADD National President Jan Withers says that the group often says, “first there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact.” Withers’ own daughter was killed in an underage drunk driving crash. She says they want people to know that they’re there for victims and their friends and families throughout their healing journey—whether that’s the day of the crash or years down the road. She says they help survivors survive.

More About Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

MADD serves more than 61,000 victims each year, and has more than 1,200 trained volunteer and staff victim advocates nationwide. In addition, MADD’s no-cost Victim Services Help Line is available 24/7 at 877-MADD-HELP. Some of the free services MADD offers to victims include:

Emotional support and guidance
Referrals to local counselors, support groups and attorneys
Help navigating the criminal and civil justice systems
Information and advocacy for coping with complex legal, medical and financial issues
“MADD is a victim service organization at its core, but we know that there are hundreds of thousands more people we could help if they knew about our services,” said Debbie Weir, MADD Chief Executive Officer.

For more information about MADD Victim Services, visit, or call our Victim Services Help Line at 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents® to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Orange City, Iowa — We reported Monday (April 7) that there may be a change of venue in the trial of an Orange City woman charged with the murder of a child in her care. Thirty-four-year-old Rochelle Sapp is accused of throwing 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma to the floor and causing injuries from which Elgersma died a few days later.Sioux County Courthouse front_sva

It’s not known yet where the trial will be, but they are aiming for a start date of November 13th.

Also, former Sioux County Attorney and current assistant Iowa Attorney General, Coleman McAllister introduced attorney Thomas Kunstle at the pre-trial conference on Monday. He stated that Kunstle is anticipated to be appointed as the new Sioux County Attorney by the Sioux County Board of Supervisors within a week. According to the Sioux County Attorney’s office, Kunstle is currently serving as an Assistant County Attorney in Story County.

Also announced at Monday’s pre-trial conference was the fact that they plan to start jury selection at 1:15 PM on Thursday, November 13th, if that date is available in the county to which the trial is moved. If that works and the jury is seated before the weekend, they plan to start testimony the next Monday or Tuesday, November 17th or 18th.

A deadline of July 31st was set for the defense to file the notice of defenses. Other motions will need to be filed by August 18th. Depositions should take place sometime in July.

District Judge Edward Jacobsen hopes to hear back from Supreme Court officials on the change of venue within a week to ten days.